RECOMMENDATION 42

Part: 
Three
Chapter: 
3

Congress should enact legislation providing financial incentives for the states to initiate task forces on child pornography and related cases.

Discussion

The responsibility for financial assistance for a task force program does not lie solely with the federal government, but the program should be the product of a coordinated financial effort between federal and state governments.[519] Federal programs and funding should reward state governments which assume their proper role in creating the task forces described below.

The task forces would consist of experts from different fields including the judiciary, law enforcement agents, and health professionals who would be charged with recommending and implementing changes in the court system and methods to more effectively handle cases of child abuse and exploitation which result from the production and use of child pornography. Upon implementation of such task forces, federal funds would be provided to a state. Federal assistance of this nature would enable states to the task force approach more affectively and economically.

Enabling legislation should provide grants to state governments to establish, develop, implement or operate programs directed toward the treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse related to child pornography.[520]

The programs should handle child sexual abuse cases resulting from the production of child pornography in a manner which reduces the trauma for the victims and the programs should implement procedures which lead to an increase in successful prosecutions against pornographers who sexually abuse children. The program should also present methods of protecting children from the sexual abuse associated with children pornography and related offenses. Many states undoubtedly will recognize the merit of this program and will take the initiative in implementing these procedures.

Congressional action should also address the need for an effective information network which is essential to law enforcement and social service agencies. The information should be assembled for immediate access to assist law enforcement officers as they proceed with a child pornography or related case. This information network should have specific connections with the Uniform Crime Reporting System operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This type of legislation would facilitate the investigation of child sexual abuse and child pornography cases and would lead to effective methods to curb the flow of child pornography and the continued sexual abuse of children.[521]

Notes

  1. This Commission does not encourage or promote the concept of federal funding of programs which are properly within the responsibility of state and local governments. The importance of this program, however, calls for a coordinated effort and an initial incentive plan.
  2. Senator Paula Hawkins (R-Fla.) has introduced the Children's Justice Act which attempts to facilitate investigations and prevention of child sexual abuse. The bill provides:
  3. SHORT TITLE

    SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the "Children's Justice Act"

    CHILDREN'S JUSTICE GRANT

    SEC. 2. Section 4 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act is amended by-

    1. redesignating subsection (d), (e), (f), the first time such subsection appears, and (f), the second time such subsection appears, as subsection (e), (f), (g), and (h), respectively; and
    2. inserting after subsection (c) the following:
    1. "In addition to grants made to States under subsection (b), the Secretary is authorized to make grants to States for the purpose of assisting States in the developing, establishing, operating, or implementing programs or procedures for-
      1. " handling child abuse cases, especially child sexual abuse cases, in a manner which reduces the trauma to child victims;
      2. " improving the chances of successful prosecution or legal action against individuals who abuse children, especially individuals who sexually abuse children; or
      3. " improving procedures for protecting children from abuse.
      4. in accordance with the eligibility requirements of this subsection. Grants under this subsection may be made to the State agency which administers funds received under subsection (a) or to an appropriate statewide law enforcement agency which has developed a child abuse program which meets the requirements of paragraph (2). The determination as to which agency of a State may apply for a grant pursuant to the preceding sentence shall be made by the chief executive officer of such State.

    2. " A. In order for a State to qualify for assistance under this subsection, such State shall, except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C)-
      1. "establish a multidisciplinary task force as provided in paragraph (3); and
      2. " adopt reforms recommended by the multidisciplinary task force in each of the three categories provided in subparagraphs, (B), (C), and (D) of paragraph (3).
      3. For purposes of clause (ii), reforms may include proof that the State has made substantial improvement in implementing or enforcing State laws or administrative practices in effect on the date of enactment of the Children's Justice Act as recommended by the task force of such State under paragraph (3).

      "B. If the Secretary determines, at the request of any State on the basis of information submitted by the State that such State-

      1. " has established a multidisciplinary task force within the 3 years prior to the enactment of the Children's justice Act with substantially the same functions as the multidisciplinary task force provided for under this subsection; and
      2. " is making satisfactory progress toward developing, establishing, operating or implementing the programs or procedures in each of the three categories provided in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of paragraph (#) and will continue to do so.
      3. then such State shall not be required to meet the requirements of Subparagraph (A).

      "C. A State may adopt reformed recommended by the task force of such State in less than all three of the categories provided in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of paragraph (3), but in the event that a State fails to adopt any recommendation in a category the State shall submit to the Secretary a detailed explanation of the reasons for the State not planning to carry out any such omitted recommendation.

      "3. A. Each State desiring to receive a grant under this subsection shall establish a multidisciplinary task force on children's justice composed of professionals experienced in the criminal justice system and its operation relating to issues of child abuse. The task force shall include representatives of the law enforcement community, judicial and legal officers including representatives of the prosecution and the defense, child protective services, child advocates, health and mental health professionals, and parents. Each State task force shall, for fiscal year 1987, review, analyze, and make recommendations for reforms needed to improve the response of such State to child abuse cases in each of the categories described in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D).

      "B. A State shall provide for the handling of child abuse cases, especially child sexual abuse cases, in a manner which reduces the trauma to the child victim. Administrative procedures consistent with the reduction of trauma may include-

      1. " the establishment of interdisciplinary teams of child abuse professionals such as law enforcement officers, child protective service workers, prosecutors, child's advocates, mental health professionals, and medical personnel for handling child abuse cases;
      2. " coordinated court proceedings for handling intrafamily child abuse; or
      3. " providing for specialized training of law enforcement, legal, judicial, and child welfare personnel to deal with child abuse victims and their families.

      "C. A State shall establish reforms designed to improve the chances of successful prosecution or legal action against individuals who abuse children, especially individuals who sexually abuse children. Such reforms may include-

      1. " strengthening the State definition of child sexual abuse;
      2. " modifications of certain evidentiary restrictions such as the corroboration requirement and the qualification of child abuse victims as witnesses to allow for the age of child abuse victims; or
      3. " establishing procedures for the closed-circuit televising or videotaping of victim's testimony under circumstances which ensure procedural fairness while minimizing the trauma to the child abuse victim, especially child sexual abuse victim.

      "D. In order to improve procedures to protect children from abuse, especially sexual abuse, a State shall establish administrative reforms by law or, if possible, pursuant to law by administrative action, such as-

      1. " providing a guardian ad litem who is assigned to make an independent investigation and report to the court on recommendations regarding what action should be taken that would be in the best interests of the child;
      2. " granting courts authority to grant civil protection orders to protect children from further abuse, or
      3. " providing treatment programs for the individual who abuses children, especially the individual who sexually abuses children, and the abused child.

      "4. A grant authorized by this subsection may be made by the Secretary upon application which is made at such time or times and contains or is accompanied by such information as the Secretary may prescribe. Each such application shall-

      1. " contain such assurances as may be necessary to evidence compliance with paragraphs (2) and (3);
      2. " contain assurances that the State will comply with the requirements of paragraph (2)(A)(ii) during the fiscal year for which the grant is made; and
      3. " provide for making such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may require to carry out his functions under this subsection, and for keeping such records and for affording such access thereto as the Secretary may find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

      "5. A. In order to assist the States in developing effective approaches to achieve the objectives set forth in paragraph (1), the Secretary, through the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect established pursuant to section 2(a), shall-

      1. " compile, analyze, publish, and disseminate to each State a summary, including an evaluation of the effectiveness or lack thereof, of approaches being utilized, developed, or proposed with respect to improving the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases in a manner which reduces the trauma to the child victim along with such other materials or information as may be helpful to the States in developing or implementing programs or procedures to satisfy the requirements of this subsection;
      2. " develop and disseminate to appropriate State and officials model training materials and procedures to help ensure that all law enforcement, legal, judicial, and child welfare personnel are adequately trained to deal with child sexual abuse victims; and
      3. " provide for the support of research projects to assist in identifying effective approaches to achieving the objectives of this subsection.

      "B. Not later than two years after the date fund are obligated under section 5(b) for the first fiscal year, the Secretary shall-

      1. " review and evaluate the effectiveness of the activities carried out with such funds in achieving the objectives of this subsection; and
      2. " report to the appropriate committees of the Congress on the results of such review and evaluation and on the steps taken by the Secretary, through the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect Center, to assist the States in achieving such objectives.

      "C. The summary, information, and materials required under subparagraph (A) shall be made available to appropriate State officials not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Children's Justice Act."

    AUTHORIZATION

    SEC. 3. Section 5 of the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act is amended by-

    1. inserting "(a)" after "Sec. 5"; and
    2. inserting at the end thereof the following:

    "b. There are authorized to be appropriated $12,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1987 and 1988 for the purposes of making grants under subsection (d) of section 4."

    COORDINATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS INVOLVING CHILD ABUSE

    SEC. 4. Section 7 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act is amended by-

    1. inserting "(a)" after "Sec. 7.": and
    2. inserting at the end thereof the following:
    3. "b. 1. Within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Children's Justice Act and every 6 months thereafter, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Education, and the head of any other agency or department designated by the President, or their designees, responsible for programs involving child abuse prevention and treatment shall meet for the purpose of coordinating such programs in order to-

      "A. prevent the overlap of such programs and the resulting waste of resources; and

      "B. assure that such programs effectively address all aspects of the child abuse problem.

    "2. Within one year of the date of the enactment of the Children's Justice Act and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall report to Congress with respect to the actions carried out by agencies and departments of the United States for the purpose of coordinating programs involving child abuse prevention and treatment as provided in paragraph (1)."

    MODIFICATION OF FBI OFFENSE CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

    Sec. 5. The Attorney General shall modify the classification system used by the National Crime Information Center in its Interstate Identification Index, and by the Identification Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its Criminal File, and its Uniform Crime Reporting System with respect to offenses involving sexual exploitation of children by-

    1. including in the description of such offenses by the age of the victim and the relationship of the victim to the offenders; and
    2. classifying such offenses by using a uniform definition of a child.

    AMENDMENT TO PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT

    Sec. 6

    1. Section 523 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290dd-3) is amended-
      1. by striking out "subsection (e)" in subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof "subsections (e) and (i); and
      2. by adding at the end the following new subsection:
      3. "i. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede the application of State and local requirements for the reporting of incidents of suspected child abuse to the appropriate State or local authorities."

    2. Section 527 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 290cc-3) is amended-
      1. by striking out "subsection (e) in subsection(a) and inserting in lieu thereof "subsections (e) and (i)"; and
      2. by adding at the end the following new subsection:
      3. Amend the title so as to read "A bill to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to establish a program to encourage States to enact child protection reforms which are designed to improve legal and administrative proceedings regarding the investigation and prosecution of the child abuse cases, especially child sexual abuse cases."

  4. This data base should be coordinated with the information system recommended to law enforcement agencies.